Penicuik gardener becomes first two-time contest winner

Friday October 4th 2019

Melville Housing Association’s Dan Hughes (left) presenting tenant Robert Collins of Lawrie Drive, Penicuik, with the prize for best Melville garden 2019

Written by Midlothian View reporter, Luke Jackson

A talented amateur gardener from Penicuik has become the first ever two-time winner of the ‘Baxter Keiller Award’ for outstanding garden, announced at this year’s Melville Housing Association Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Beating off stiff competition from entries covering the length and breadth of Midlothian, Mr Robert Collins of Lawrie Drive, Penicuik was chosen from a shortlist of three and commended by the judging panel for his creation of a ‘fabulous, vibrant and secluded garden that makes the best use of light and a relatively small space’.

For his winning garden Mr Collins received gardening vouchers to the value of £100 with first runners-up Mr and Mrs Whyte of Glen Place, Penicuik picking up £35 and second runners-up Ms Diane Gamrot and Mr Stuart Christie of Westhouses Road, Mayfield, receiving a £25 voucher.

“Mr Collins has produced a fabulous garden and is a deserving winner of this year’s award,” said Andrew Noble, Melville Chief Executive. “It’s clear how much hard work has gone into creating such a wonderful space and to win the competition for a second time is a worthy accolade. Congratulations to Mr Collins and to all the other keen Melville gardeners who entered this year’s contest.”

Now in its fifth year, the ‘Baxter Keiller Award’ is named in honour of a keen Mayfield gardener and Melville tenant who sadly passed away in 2014. Melville set up a gardening competition to recognise the work done in 2007 by Baxter, along with his neighbour Christine McGrouther, transforming a patch of Mayfield wasteland into a fantastic community garden.

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